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Media Release: SANParks disappointed at Beeld’s allegations
Date: 30th April 2012
South African National Parks (SANParks) is extremely disappointed in an article published by Beeld on Monday 30 April 2012 in which unfounded allegations of tension between SANParks Rangers, South African Police (SAPS) Special Tasks Force and the South African National Defense Force (SANDF) were made. The allegations were made on the basis of a faceless so-called “sources” which relates to a shooting incident in the Kruger National Park (KNP) between a SANParks Ranger and SAPS Special Task force member in which both lost their lives.
Articles such as this one undermine the fight against rhino poaching in SANParks and South Africa as a whole. SANParks together with SAPS Special Task Force and SANDF have created a National Joints Operation team which has been effective in fighting poaching. This joint platform ensures operational effectiveness, safety and addresses any areas of mutual concern. The effectiveness of this structure is clearly evident in the number of joint operations carried out and successes achieved so far.
“SANParks wishes to put it on record that we have developed an excellent working relationship with both SAPS and the SANDF in the fight against rhino poaching. The teams working together have developed a winning combination, they have integrated well and they complement each other,” said Paul Daphne, Acting Head Communications, SANParks. “As a result of the combined effort 30 suspected armed poachers have been arrested in the KNP in 2012.”
It is worrying that Beeld continues to use dubious sources as fact. “This speaks directly to the integrity of the publication while the specific allegations in the article are sowing division and mutual distrust which could create tension and hamper the achievement of our common goal – defeating rhino poaching.”
Daphne said, “The forces are working well together and they are all saddened by the tragedy. An inquest has been opened to get to the bottom of the matter. It is therefore irresponsible of Beeld to start an unnecessary ‘gossip corner’ when families have lost their loved ones.”
GM: Media Liaison & Stakeholder Relations, SANParks,
Tel: (012) 426 5170, Cell: 073 373 4999, e-mail: email@example.com
HOD: Public Relations and Communication, Kruger National Park.
Tel: 013 735 4363, Cell: 082 807 3919, email: firstname.lastname@example.org